Research has found that when a first responder launches into action during a critical event or emergency some highly instinctive and fascinating changes often take place in his or her mind.
Whether bursting into a burning building or giving chase to a dangerous suspect, a first responder will focus on only the most critical details needed to manage the incident while fading everything else to the background.
It’s in these demanding and highly stressful moments when responders’ mission-critical communication reaches its peak.
The way emergency service workers respond in these moment is an area of cognitive research known as High Velocity Human Factors, and it has been instrumental in the way we develop products that first responders can rely and depend on in crisis situations.
An important part of developing these technologies is observing and learning from the way our customers engage with technology in the field. We then bring those learnings back to the lab environment to create products that can function under the most extreme and challenging conditions.
This approach to technology development was central to a new radio solution developed in close partnership with New Zealand Fire Service.
In order to perform their roles safely while protecting our communities, the fire service’s 10,000 career and volunteer firefighters must have reliable and robust voice communication to remain connected to their colleagues in the field.
In developing a new two-way radio solution for the fire service we started with clearly understanding the organisation’s operational needs.
They had exacting requirements for their new radios because communication is absolutely critical to safety on the incident ground.
We understood they needed a solution to operate reliably at the most critical times, so we developed a remote speaker microphone that is fully integrated within firefighters’ breathing apparatus. The solution features a large push-to-talk button that can be centrally positoned on a firefighter’s uniform and easily operated, even when wearing thick firefighting gloves.
Unlike consumer grade technologies these radios need to operate in the harshest conditions, so they were tested for reliable performance in extreme heat and cold. The running time of the units and audio performance in a wide range of noisy environments was also rigorously tested, helping ensure the solution was truly fit-for-purpose and met their stringent requirements.
We are also very pleased to be partnering with Spark who are providing in-country support including service management and a customer support desk to further enhance the on-ground experience for New Zealand’s fire fighters.
With New Zealand’s public safety agencies considering their long term communications needs we’re fortunate to have a strong and capable partner in Spark who understands the sector.
At Motorola Solutions we’re grateful to have customers who partner with us to outline their unique challenges and needs for mission-critical communications.
It’s our hope that the learnings and experience in New Zealand with the Fire Service and Spark will ultimately benefit first responders all over the world.